Heart & Kidney Not In Touch, with Yin deficiency

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‘Heart and Kidney not communicating, with yin deficiency’ does sound a bit strange, I’ll admit. But it’s a clever way of encapsulating some ancient ideas that explains various kinds of ill-health. It’s called a syndrome in Chinese medicine. That means it’s understood and there’s a way to treat it and the conditions that arise because of it.

To understand this page it helps to know what your Heart and Kidney energies do in terms of Chinese medicine. Click on Heart, then on Kidney for more on this. You’ll soon realise how differently Chinese medicine views them compared with their Western medicine equivalents (heart and kidney).

You also need to grasp what yin deficiency entails. That’s because this syndrome (Heart and Kidney not communicating, with yin deficiency) occurs because of serious yin deficiency in both Kidneys and Heart. Lacking enough Yin energy, they become hyper, unable to settle. 

For your Kidneys (for more see Kidney Yin deficiency) this leads to inner restlessness, anxiety, feeling hot when  you normally wouldn’t, night sweats, insomnia and other Kidney symptoms like low backache.

For your Heart (for more seee Heart Yin deficiency) it adds to the inner restlessness, causing agitation, impatience and fidgetiness, palpitations (not excluding atrial fibrillation), dizziness, nightmares or dreams that prevent restful sleep, and so on.

Causes of Heart and Kidney not communicating, with yin deficiency

This shares its causes with those of Kidney yin deficiency:

brown ceramic vase- a receptacle for our reserves guard against yin deficiency
Fluid loss can lead to Kidney yin deficiency
  • Fluid loss such as from sweating during severe fevers, or ongoing diarrhoea or from haemorrhage
  • Chronic disease which has used up your resources
  • Overwork (mainly mental), such as working overlong hours at your desk, or even doing lots of different things but without proper rest in between them
  • Drugs or medications that have over-stimulated your body so much that you cannot settle yourself
  • Too many Kidney Yang tonics can exhaust your Kidney Yin reserves.
  • For men, too much ejaculatory sex for your constituion quickly to recover from. As you age, this becomes a bigger factor.
  • For more on this syndrome, click on Kidney Yin deficiency


However, for this ‘Heart and Kidney not communicating, with yin deficiency’ syndrome to fully ‘flower’ add causes which specifically deplete your Heart yin energy:

  • Severe worry or anxiety
  • Huge disappointment or sadness
  • Major depression for some reason
  • For more, click on Heart Yin deficiency


What might cause this in someone who already has the underlying symptoms of Kidney yin deficiency?

Surprise and shock affect your Heart energy, which needs to communicate with your Kidney energy to recover.
Shock can contribute to this syndrome
  • The most obvious example is a major emotional break-up that disrupts life, catapulting it from safe harbour to uncharted waters.
  • Or it could be someone who has worked long and hard to build a career and business whose whole life purpose is suddenly snatched from him/her by the casual consequences of political or military turmoil.
  • Any big shock can be a contributing factor.

Symptoms of Heart and Kidney not communicating, with yin deficiency

From Heart involvement you get:

  • Mental agitation
  • Sleep disturbed by unpleasant or vigorous dreams
  • Palpitations – you feel an unusual ‘beating’ in your chest: thumping, or extra heartbeats, though not necessarily caused by a change in your pulse rate
  • Worry, anxiety and fear
  • Weak memory


With Kidney involvement:

eyeglasses on white book, perhaps show Kidney yin deficiency
Poor Concentration, a sign of weak Kidney energy
  • Poor powers of concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Hearing diminishes
  • Tinnitus
  • Lower backache
  • Nocturnal emissions with dreams
  • Unpleasant sense of heat in afternoon and evening: often felt in palms, soles and centre chest, sometimes ears too
  • Sweats at night during sleep time not caused by what you’ve eaten or a high ambient temperature or fever
  • Throat feels dry at night
  • Thirst but only for small quantities at a time
  • Urine is scanty and dark
  • Stools are dry and may be difficult to pass
  • Erectile dysfunction, usually in the form of premature ejaculation or peaking too early, with delayed recovery, tiredness and anxiety
  • Tongue: red, lacking a coating, often with a redder tip and a long crack down the tongue’s centre, possibly reaching the tip
  • Pulse: fast, floating and empty but can be deep and weak in the Kidney positions and large or overflowing in the Heart and Lung positions.


Are there dangers?

Yes, if this continues for too long, it can lead to internal Heat which may lead to haemorrhage, conceivably in the form of internal bleeding, then clotting, even stroke.

Treatment for Heart and Kidney not communicating, with yin deficiency

Aim? To nourish the yin of Heart and Kidney, and to calm and steady the mind.

acupuncture for heart and kidney not communicating, with yin deficiency
Acupuncture to Calm and Steady your energy
  • Acupuncture is excellent because there are points and combinations of points that exactly address what needs to be done
  • Avoid stimulating drugs and medication, and foods or drinks containing caffeine. These will only aggravate your yin deficiency problem.
  • Herbs – taken for a while – can be hugely comforting. (If you have been taking herbs that stimulate Yang – for example to stimulate Kidney Yang – please get advice on how to reduce these yang-stimulating herbs, to encourage more yin energy in your body and only from there to stimulate yang again, should it become appropriate.)
  • Methods to calm the Mind include mental exercises, Meditation and prayer.
  • Take life more slowly!
  • Counselling helps many. It need not be from a professional counsellor or therapist – though they will know what they’re doing, so are safer – but could be from a friend, even an acupuncturist – some acupuncturists have become very wise!
  • Avoid anything which over-excites you, including competitive sports.
  • Cultivate steady, gentle, preferably enjoyable and creative physical pursuits. Maybe walking with others, or gardening? – but not if this means heavy lifting, or doing it for too long at a time, exhausting you.
  • Yoga, tai chi, pilates: all help but choose one and learn it well. Don’t overstrain!
  • Stay away from very hot, heating places like saunas and steam-rooms. They may be too yang for your yin deficiency to withstand.
  • Build up resting times gradually. Learn to take an afternoon snooze. Until you are better,  you may not realise how tired you have been – overstretched by what you thought was important.
  • Foods: read Kidney Yin deficiency including the final paragraphs. Then click on yin deficiency recipes for more ideas.
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